Despite the roster changes during the NBA Draft for the Philadelphia 76ers, Evan Turner will reprise his role this season as the starting small forward in Philly.
Looking at the current Philadelphia 76ers roster immediately shows that this isn't your 2012-13 Sixers.
After making a number of moves during the 2013 NBA draft and allowing players to leave via free agency, most recently center Andrew Bynum, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia also traded their best player in Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel after he was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans. Now, the 76ers are looking to rebuild their team around younger players as well as more experienced starters.
The Holiday trade was proof that Philadelphia is looking to start over, which means general manager Sam Hinkie needs to look at what he has on the roster and make sure he has the best players on his roster.
These particular power rankings are based on who means the most to the 76ers at this time, and do not take into account current free agents who may end up coming back to Philadelphia. However, it does include players (such as Noel) who were acquired in draft-day trades but have not been officially signed.
For the younger players, it's important to consider the upside they have, and although they may not be the best players right out of the gate for Philadelphia, they could gain value and skill over the course of the season and may become more valuable to the team than some fans think.
Former No. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown is barely clinging to a roster spot in Philadelphia.
The former No. 1 overall pick is barely hanging on to a roster spot in Philadelphia, being lucky enough to accept his $2.95 million player option to play his second year with the 76ers.
Brown only appeared in 22 games for Philadelphia this past season, averaging 1.9 points and 0.4 assists per game. The center at least played some quality defensive minutes, pulling down 2.3 defensive rebounds per game.
But other than that, Brown doesn’t deserve to play in any more than 10 minutes per game for the 76ers.
It would have been acceptable to give Brown the opportunity to tap into some of his potential after his four-year stint with the Washington Wizards, but at 31, it’s safe to say Brown is done in the NBA. Brown is nothing short of the worst player on the team, and Philadelphia may be able to dump him off on another team to clear cap space midway through the season if the front office deems it necessary.
Power forward Arnett Moultrie only played in 11 minutes per game last season with the 76ers and only attempted three shots per game.
At only 22 years of age, there is still time for Moultrie to grow in the NBA, but judging by his rookie season, there’s not much to hold on to here.
Moultrie was sent down to the D-League by then-head coach Doug Collins in December and eventually returned to the team to finish the season with 47 appearances. As a rookie coming out of Mississippi State, Moultrie played in 11 minutes per game and only averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
There was some confusion about his role on the team this season, with Collins wanting him to rebound and set screens while Moultrie was looking to score. Even if Moultrie can show improvement this summer, he likely won’t get much playing time with Arsalan Kazemi, Lavoy Allen and Royce White ahead of him on the roster.
He may get some time off the bench, but don’t expect him to appear in more than 10 minutes per game, if that. However, he gets the edge over Brown for having more upside and time to grow.
While Justin Holiday spent most of last season in the D-League, he did produce valuable minutes in his nine games in the NBA.
After spending most of the time in the NBA D-League on the Idaho Stampede, Justin Holiday found himself on the 76ers for nine games this season.
Next season, Holiday will have to fight for minutes off the bench behind Jason Richardson, Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Turner, but he showed promise in April, averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 assists per game.
If he wants to see more of the court, Holiday could afford to work on his shot selection—after shooting 33 percent from the floor in his nine games in the NBA—but whoever ends up taking over as 76ers head coach won’t be very impressed after looking at Holiday’s numbers.
He certainly has time to grow, but don’t expect Holiday to be a major player next season.
Although Royce White was drafted by the Houston Rockets last season, he never saw the court due to complications with his anxiety disorder.
Although the Houston Rockets originally drafted Royce White in the 2012, he has never played in a game in the NBA.
White has an anxiety disorder that caused him to miss practices with the Rockets (he also ran into numerous legal problems in college). Eventually, Houston demoted him to the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
As part of their move to clear space to bring in Dwight Howard, the Rockets traded White and the rights to Furkan Aldemir to the 76ers. Already, though, there seems to be some problems with White in Philadelphia.
He has already said he won’t make 100 NBA flights to travel throughout the season, and it’s currently unclear how the 76ers plan to deal with his anxiety, or if he’ll even see the court this year.
However, what keeps him higher on this list than Kwame Brown or Justin Holiday is his upside. If he can get on the court, White can be a valuable asset. In his one season with Iowa State in college, he led the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament, averaging 13 points and nine rebounds.
If Philadelphia has a plan to handle White’s anxiety, he could turn out to be a solid bench player, but if they can’t, he could end up being a dud.
Lavoy Allen started 37 games last season for the Sixers, but he likely won't see that many with the addition of Nerlens Noel.
With Nerlens Noel and Spencer Hawes on the team, Lavoy Allen likely won’t see the 37 starts he had during the 2012-13 season.
Allen averaged about 21 minutes in 79 appearances last season and did pull down five rebounds per game, but he only scored a little less than six points per game.
The 24-year-old is only entering his third season as an NBA player but is still making a little over $3 million per year. There were some bright spots for Allen, such as his 20-point, seven-rebound game in March against the Sacramento Kings, but he never eclipsed that point toal.
Allen would find himself higher on this list if Noel wasn’t drafted and Hawes wasn’t still on the team, but his numbers likely won’t give him big minutes.
Power forward Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player to be drafted in the NBA.
After becoming the first Iranian-born player to enter the NBA, Arsalan Kazemi is hoping to come off the bench as a power forward.
Like Moultire, he’ll have to fight for playing time with the depth Philadelphia has at center and power forward, but he showed some promise in college.
While his point production decreased over his three seasons playing college ball, his shooting percentage improved from 52 percent to almost 60 percent. Points don’t seem to be Kazemi’s priority anyway, given the 10 rebounds and two steals he averaged in his senior year at Oregon.
The 6'7" rebounding machine didn’t get much attention in his first two seasons in college at Rice, but his stock rose with the Ducks, leading the country in defensive rebounding percentage.
Kazemi likely won’t start, but he should see some quality minutes off the bench.
Veteran Jason Richardson will likely be the sixth man for Philadelphia and will serve as a mentor for their younger players.
If Nick Young doesn’t return to Philadelphia, Jason Richardson could quickly find himself as the sixth man on the roster.
The shooting guard averaged 10 points per game, which ranked sixth on the team last season, but only made 40 percent of his shots.
Richardson brings a veteran presence to the locker room at age 32, and the journeyman has averaged 17 points and five rebounds over his 12 NBA seasons.
His age holds him back from being a starter on the 76ers, but there’s no doubt Richardson is a solid scorer who can come off the bench and make spot starts when necessary.
Richardson’s health is a concern, as he only played in 33 games last season and 54 games with the Orlando Magic during the 2011-12 season.
If he can stay in the lineup, however, he should get good minutes and will be a good mentor for some of the younger players on the roster.
In the spirit of embracing Philadelphia’s rebuilding process, Michael Carter-Williams finds himself high on this list because of the value he caries as the No. 11 pick in the 2013 draft.
Carter-Williams played two seasons at Syracuse, leading the Orange to the Final Four in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
He is now the future of the 76ers along with Nerlens Noel and will be the starting point guard with no Jrue Holiday in Philadelphia.
In a league that is saturated with shoot-first point guards, Carter-Williams loves to distribute the ball, averaging 7.3 assists in his sophomore season with the Orange.
Carter-Williams does have a slimmer build, which could make it harder for him to transition to the NBA, but it’ll be his job heading into the first game of the season.
He showed that he can shoot behind the arc when necessary, but he is great at moving the ball and could make 76ers fans quickly forget about Jrue Holiday.
While Spencer Hawes may end up coming off the bench behind Nerlens Noel, he is still the best defensive player on the roster.
After leading the 76ers in blocks last season, Spencer Hawes could find himself the backup in Philadelphia behind Nerlens Noel.
Hawes will be playing for a new contract this season, although he is getting paid $6.6 million in his last year of his current contract with Philly.
The 7'1" center could find himself on a new team at the trade deadline if Noel works out and Philadelphia wants to clear cap space, but until then, he’ll definitely be getting minutes.
The 25-year-old is certainly defensive-minded, averaging 1.4 blocks and 5.1 defensive rebounds this past season, but his offensive production improved, averaging 11 points—his highest total since the 2008-09 season.
Despite his young age, Hawes is entering his seventh year in the NBA (his fourth in Philadelphia) and will likely split minutes with Noel.
However, it seems as if Hawes has reached the peak of his NBA career, and he could easily find himself on the move this season, which prevents him from being higher on this list.
This may seem pretty high for a rookie, but Nerlens Noel’s potential cannot be overstated.
Philadelphia invested a lot in Noel, trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for him. Some projections had Noel going as the No. 1 overall pick, but five teams ended up passing on him because of injury concerns, causing Noel to want to wear a No. 5 jersey for the 76ers.
During his freshman year at Kentucky, Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds and blocked 106 shots, but his year ended early when he tore a ligament in his knee.
If he can stay healthy and can put on a little weight to keep up with some of the bigger centers in the NBA, Noel could quickly find himself as a defensive powerhouse.
It’s not clear yet if he or Hawes will be the starter, but even if it’s Hawes, Noel gets the edge on this list for his immense upside and his importance to the team now that he was essentially made the face of the franchise when the 76ers shipped Holiday out to New Orleans.
Evan Turner is one of the young stars on the 76ers, and he was first on the team in defensive rebounds last season.
Evan Turner may not have the hype or media coverage that Noel does, but he is far more important to Philadelphia than most NBA fans know.
Turner ranked third on the team last season in points, first in defensive rebounds and second in assists.
Turner is not as young as Nerlens Noel or Michael Carter-Williams, but he still only has three NBA seasons under his belt. After starting 14 and 20 games, respectively, during his first two seasons, Turner started all 82 games last year.
By the end of the season, Turner had career highs in points, steals, assists and rebounds.
Turner mainly slumped in field-goal percentage, shooting 42 percent last season compared to 44.6 percent the year before, but that was mainly because he was playing more minutes and shooting more. Turner has the opportunity to grow along with Noel and Carter-Williams, and together they could make a very powerful Big Three in the near future.
Without Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young must take over as Philadelphia's top player.
While Thaddeus Young is not the flashiest player on the 76ers, he currently is the best player on the roster.
Young led the team in rebounds and steals last season in 76 starts, the first time he was a consistent starter since the 2009-10 season.
The 6'8" 25-year-old played great defense this past season and still managed to finish second on the team in points, averaging 14.8 per game. He was also was the only regular starter on the team to shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
The 2012-13 season was a huge step forward for Young, who posted 21 double-doubles after only having 11 total in his previous five seasons.
Young could potentially be under contract through the 2015-16 season, and if GM Sam Hinkie elects to stick with this group of players, expect Young to be putting up better numbers than he did last season.